Notting Hill Carnival cancelled for first time in over 50 years due to coronavirus

7 May 2020, 13:41

Notting Hill Carnival has been cancelled
Notting Hill Carnival has been cancelled. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Notting Hill Carnival has been cancelled this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The organisers of the event confirmed the world-famous event will not be happening on the streets of Notting Hill in West London this year.

It also means that Panorama, the annual steelband will not be taking place.

This also marks the first time ever it has been cancelled.

They said the decision to cancel the annual event - which is a highlight of many Londoner's year - was the "only safe option" and they had to put people's lives first.

A statement added: "We also have no wish to place extra strain on our colleagues at St John Ambulance and the NHS. We, of course, work very closely with them for Carnival and want to take this opportunity to express our utmost respect, admiration and gratitude for their work."

However, it was announced that organisers are looking at the event taking place in an "alternate" form, the details of which will be released at a later date.

The Carnival has been a British summer staple since 1966, and attracts over two and a half million people each year - making it one of the largest street festivals on the planet.

It is led by the British West Indian community, bringing music, colourful outfits and celebration to the usually quiet streets.

Despite there being a small number of arrests made at the festival each year, the event it widely regarded as a homage to London's multi-cultural heritage that make the city so dynamic.

Since Grenfell Fire, a minute's silence has been held for the victims on each day of the Carnival.